Tuesday, 20 April 2010

News For April 20, 2010

Can Lebanon come in from the Cold?
Resistance and Rebuttal

By Franklin Lamb

As of mid-April 2010 there are no fewer than six draft laws, half of them ‘embargoed for now’ being circulated and debated in Lebanon, any one of which if adopted by Parliament, would grant Lebanon’s Palestinians, for the first time since their 1948 expulsion from Palestine, some elementary civil rights including the right to work, to have an ID, and to own a home. Continue

In Case You Missed It
"There Will Be Another War"

By Norman Finkelstein

9 Minute Video. Continue

Torture Prisons in Iraq

By Robert Dreyfuss

The Los Angeles Times reports today that the government of Iraq held hundreds of Sunni men in a secret torture prison where they were suffocated with plastic bags, shocked with electricity, and sodomized. Continue

Iraq: Nevermind Our Secret Torture Jail, We Killed al Qaida Leaders


So let’s total this up: The US helps Iraq kill two top al Qaida leaders in Iraq, but the US sits on the development for more than 24 hours, and it wasn’t clear that Maliki had the DNA evidence before he claimed credit for the mission. But it sure led the day in terms of American interest in foreign news. Continue

Bush Insider Reveals Guantanamo Deception:
Hundreds of Innocents Jailed

By Bill Quigley

Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided shocking new testimony from inside the Bush Administration that hundreds of the men jailed at Guantanamo were innocent, the top people in the Bush Administration knew full well they were innocent, and that information was kept from the public. Continue

Bankrupt Empire

By Doug Bandow

The FDIC shut down a record 140 banks last year and is running low on cash. Last year the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation figured its fund was running a $34 billion deficit. Federal pensions are underfunded by $1 trillion. State and local retirement funds are short about $3 trillion. Continue

Graceful Decline
The End of Pax Americana

By Christopher Layne

The epoch of American dominance is drawing to a close, and international politics is entering a period of transition: no longer unipolar but not yet fully multipolar. President Barack Obama’s November 2009 trip to China provided both substantive and emblematic evidence of the shift. Continue

'Too Fat' for Empire?
Military Generals Target School Lunches

By Mary Clare Jalonick

A new report being released Tuesday says more than 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military. Continue
Americans Down on Federal Government

By Steven Thomma

Just 22 percent say they trust the government almost always or most of the time, among the lowest in a half century of polling. Continue

Arizona Passes Tough "Illegal Immigration" Law

By Tim Gaynor and David SchwartZ

The law requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are illegal immigrants and to arrest people who are unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally. Continue

Wall Street Culture of Greed Under Attack

By Linda McQuaig

Unsuspecting investors lost billions, while the hedge fund manager, John Paulson, personally walked away with $1 billion. Continue

A Finance Overhaul Fight Draws a Swarm of Lobbyists

By Edward Wyatt and Eric Lichtblau

With so much money at stake, it is not surprising that more than 1,500 lobbyists, executives, bankers and others have made their way to the Senate committee that on Wednesday will take up legislation to rein in derivatives, the complex securities at the heart of the financial crisis. Continue

Anderson Cooper and Class Solidarity
You cannot man the barricades with a mouth full of Cheetos

By Joe Bageant

There is no way the world's working people can win in the long run, which is getting pretty damned short, or even survive, except by joining the worker struggles, of China, Asia and Africa and India. The idea that American workers are the same as the Asian and Latin American and African working people goes down hard in American gullets. Continue

Draft of Secretive International Copyright Treaty Leaked --
Confirms Fears About Internet Freedom

By Michael Geist

On the table: losing internet access due to infringement allegations, and widespread data sharing across national borders. Continue

US Ban on Arab Satellite TV Channels


Early December the US House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming majority to pass a bill in order to stop satellite TV channels from 17 Arab nations from being transmitted to American audiences due to their engagement in ‘anti-American incitement to violence’. Continue

US occupation forces kill 4, injure dozen Afghans: US military forces have opened fire on a vehicle killing four and wounding more than a dozen civilians in occupied Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost.
Four students die in Afghanistan crossfire: ministry: The statement coincided with a release from ISAF that said four people had died in Khost after their vehicle was fired on by international soldiers while it was accelerating towards their convoy.
NATO occupation force soldier killed, several wounded in Afghanistan: A soldier of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed in an explosion and several others were wounded in Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, a press release of the alliance said.
Pakistan: Four killed, seven injured in Hangu blast: A roadside bomb blast struck a military convoy in the northwestern region of Hangu on Tuesday, police said.
Pakistani Muslims blames CIA, Mossad for suicide bombing: Muslims blamed Pakistan's alliance with the U.S. for the violence and urged Islamabad on Tuesday to break ranks in the war on terror.
Iraq: 5 Children of anti-Qaeda militia chief beheaded: Five family members of a local chief of an anti-Qaeda militia were gunned down in their homes in Tarmiyah, north of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, with the children also beheaded, police said.
3 Police Killed: Earlier Tuesday, three policemen were killed and six people injured in a series of attacks targeting police patrols in the Iraqi western province of Anbar, police sources said.
Iraq vice president rejects Baghdad vote recount decision: Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on Tuesday rejected a court decision to recount more than 2.5 million votes in Baghdad as “unacceptable” and said its implementation could foment sectarian tensions in the war-torn country.
Ex-Blackwater contractors will not face death penalty for Afghanistan shootings: "The death penalty is reserved for the most heinous cases and the most heinous defendants and this bill doesn't fit these two men," said James Brocoletti, defense lawyer.
Detainee-torture allegations spread to Britain: Allegations that Afghan detainees were routinely handed over to Afghan authorities for torture – up to now a largely Canadian scandal – are poised to envelop fellow NATO countries with a London court case that claims Britain exposed hundreds of prisoners to abuse in similar circumstances.
Israel is debated at California Democratic convention, Harman walks out in huff
Israeli Arab brothers win payout for El Al ‘abuse’ in New York: “I’d rather go to New York by donkey than fly with El Al again,” said Abdel Aziz, 44. “We will keep fighting this case until Israel is embarrassed into stopping its policy of discriminating against its Arab citizens.”
Syria warned on 'missile transfer': US officials branded the move "provocative behaviour", and said the transfer of the missiles to Hezbollah, which the US calls a terror outfit, could be a threat to both Lebanon and Israel.
Lebanese PM: False Israeli Scud accusations are like Iraq's WMDs: Lebanon's Western-backed prime minister has denied Israeli allegations that Hezbollah obtained Scud missiles, comparing them to the false American charges that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ahead of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation, theologian tells bishops: Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops
410 million Indians living below poverty line: India now has 100 million more people living below the poverty line than in 2004, according to official estimates released on Sunday.
Bolivia 's answer to UN climate summit: Environmentalists, indigenous leaders and celebrities are gathering in Bolivia this week for a self-styled People's Climate Change Summit.
Chavez hosts regional allies: Troops from Venezuela, Bolivia, Belarus, China and Cuba were among those parading in Caracas
The death of the American Century: The dream is dying. It was this: a belief that the world has a special love for Americans, for our earnest innocence and gawky immediacy, for our willingness to share the obvious truth and light of democracy with people still struggling in the darkness of history, for our random energy, syncopated music and lopsided, baseball-playing grins.
Farm Workers Fight for an Extra Cent and Human Rights: Chanting "No more slaves! Pay a living wage!", hundreds of farmworkers, students and others marched 22 miles through central Florida for three days, calling on the Publix supermarket chain to pay an extra penny to the impoverished workers who pick their tomatoes.
Arizona passes tough illegal immigration law: The law requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are illegal immigrants and to arrest people who are unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally.
Under-fire Goldman Sachs reveals 90% jump in profits: Just days after US regulators began a $1bn (£650m) fraud action against the firm, Goldman revealed a leap in quarterly profits from $1.8bn to $3.5bn and disclosed that it was setting aside $5.49bn to pay its employees.
UK investigates Goldman Sachs: The announcement on Tuesday came as the investment bank reported surging first-quarter earnings, almost double those of the same period last year.
Fraudulent Foreclosures Across The Country: In courtrooms across the country, judges are foreclosing on homes based on improperly prepared documentation, some of which may even be fraudulent.
New Face of Foreclosure – The Unemployed: The Treasury Department estimates 6 million home loans nationally are at least 60 days delinquent on payments, but through the end of March, the government reported that only 230,801 Americans had modified their loans through the Making Home Affordable program.

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